Whole prawns with olive oil and garlic (Gambas al Ajillo) Recipe

A classic tapas dish, boosted with tomato and rocket for a fresh zesty starter.

  • Preparation
  • Cooking time
  • Rest time
Rate this recipe
(4 votes) 4.5/5

Les ingrédients

Pour people
  • King prawn(s) : 24 whole
  • Olive oil : 200 ml
  • Garlic clove(s) : 12 whole
  • Lemon(s) : 2 whole
  • Tomato(es) : 6 whole
  • Flat leaf parsley : 0.25 bunch
  • Rocket : 1 bunch
  • 1/2 french baguette precooked : 2 whole
  • Maldon salt : 6 pinch(es)
  • Red chilli(s) : 1 whole



    Remove the shell, leaving the head and flippers intact.
    Devein the prawns using a skewer or by lightly slicing the back with a sharp knife


    Peel the garlic cloves and slice finely into the same thickness.
    De-seed and finely dice the chilli.
    Zest and juice one of the lemons, keeping each separate.
    Cut the other lemon into segments.
    Pick the leaves and finely slice the parsley.
    De-seed the tomatoes and cut into 5-6 mm concasse.


    Preheat an oven to 160*
    In a large wide pan, gently warm the garlic in the olive oil until it becomes golden and smells similar to popcorn, add the chilli and the lemon zest and swirl gently around the pan to cool and infuse.
    Season the prawns with the salt and add to the oil.
    Move the pan to the oven for 5-6 minutes until they have become plump and pink/white fleshed.
    Remove from the oven and finish with the lemon juice, tomato and parsley.
    Serve in the pan with crusty bread on the side and the lemon wedges and rocket sprinkled on top

Chef's tip

«Adding the lemon juice, parsley and tomato at the last minute will keep the prawns plump and keep the flavours and textures clean and fresh.»

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